After several periods of staying in limbo, President Goodluck Jonathan has finally approved the reconstitution of an Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMTT) on implementation of audit findings of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
The task team is expected to be drawn from key government agencies, which either collect or manage Nigeria’s oil and gas revenue.
Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, stated recently in Abuja when the agency hosted the global chair of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), Clare Short, that the presidency had given his nod that members of the IMTT be drawn from top officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Permanent Secretaries in affected Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA), ostensibly to reinvigorate and strengthen the activities of NEITI in audit of operations in Nigeria’s extractive industries
Ahmed noted it was the statutory responsibility of NEITI to undertake audit processes in the countries extractive industries with the expectation of coming up with findings and recommendations that should guide other government agencies in taking remediation measures against revenue leakages in particular.
Revelations from NEITI audit processes had influenced the Federal Executive Council’s (FEC’s) decision to set up an IMTT to examine issues highlighted by the audit and develop a comprehensive remediation plan.
The IMTT remediation plan was promptly approved by the FEC, which also ordered a second cycle of audit, for the 2005 financial year. The disclosures by the 2005 audit were also more revealing but NEITI has so far churned out audit reports without commensurate remediation actions on same.